Sunday, April 22, 2007
I Will Not Let You Go Unless You Bless Me!
I watched a remarkable video this morning. It was from the church service at the Chrystal Cathedral last week. Evel Kneivel gave his story of coming to Jesus. It was extremely moving and powerful. Here is a man who had millions, women, fame, cars, airplanes, ego. Nothing satisfied. Nothing was enough. He always believed in a higher power but never accepted Jesus as the Son of God sent to redeem his relationship with that higher power. Not until very recently, and now he wants to speak about it. He is shouting from the mountain tops how good it is to be in right relationship with his maker. After all was said, Evel asked Pastor Schuller to baptize him. And so he did. But something happened. Others in the congregation wanted the same relationship, the same peace, the same contentment, the same baptism. So an "altar call" was given and hundreds were baptized. The last woman was sprinkled. There was no one else in line. Pastor Schuller was turning around to move on to the next thing on the schedule when from the back of the church a man came running up the aisle. I don't know what was in his heart that caused him to hesitate in coming up with the crowd, but the Holy Spirit must have been pushing him because he ran, making sure the next thing didn't begin until he was baptized. Pastor turned and baptized him, in full view.
Now what struck me with this man was that he ran up to the altar to be baptized after the hundreds before him left. I am so much an introvert I would want to be mixed in with the crowd, not pointed out. I don't think this man was wanting to stand out. I think the Spirit urged him forward and his self held back until the last possible moment. But in that moment, while he was running, you saw his hunger, his desire was to declare his new relationship and seal it with baptism.
Jacob stayed hungry. Jacob ran to have a relationship with God. He stole his brother's inheritance. He deceived his father, fooled his brother and wrestled with God. Jacob would not let the "man" go until he received his blessing (Genesis 32:26).
I often think about Jacob and his hunger for God - lying, deceiving, wrestling. I'm passive and sated. I am so full with church, Bible studies, ministry that I have little hunger and thirst to run after His blessing. It is something I think the church in the U.S. is lacking. we have so much we don't understand what it means to desire God to the point of wrestling Him to gain his blessing. Maybe I'm just speaking for myself.